Jesus did not shun tax-collectors

Matthew 18:15-17 presents a piece of advice from Jesus that seems wise and constructive: If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to … [Read more...]

The evangelical bubble cannot be sustained (part 2)

A standard line of argument for sex education says that if young people aren't taught the actual facts of the facts of life, then they'll just wind up learning about it "on the streets." The idea there is that kids want the truth and they need and deserve to hear it. The desire to protect them, to preserve their innocence by preserving their ignorance, will wind up harming them in the long run. If you deny them access to good information, they'll seek out whatever information they can find on … [Read more...]

The evangelical bubble cannot be sustained (part 1)

The following unrelated items are not unrelated: 1. Latebloomer, who writes at Past Tense, Present Progressive, tells a familiar story about being an inquisitive kid in the insular world of American fundamentalist Christianity: I was in the middle of writing a homeschool high school essay called "Why I Believe What I Believe," and one of my points was that the Bible was inspired. I wrote down something like this: "Written over ____ years by ___ authors in different countries and in several … [Read more...]

P.S.: Please don’t eat the chimpanzee

Joppa6

Surfing around for an image to enlist for the previous post on the story of Peter's vision from Acts 10-11, I came across some rather odd bits of artwork. Like this one, for example, from a Sunday school curriculum illustrating the story. Acts 10 says Peter fell into a trance and: "saw the heaven opened and something like a large sheet coming down, being lowered to the ground by its four corners. In it were all kinds of four-footed creatures and reptiles and birds of the air." I'd just … [Read more...]

Slavery and same-sex marriage (cont’d.)

Stephen Prothero's CNN op-ed from earlier this month titled "On gay marriage, Obama, Billy Graham and a tale of 2 Christianities" touches on some of the points in the previous post here. Prothero notes that the Rev. Billy Graham (or, at least, his children on his behalf) spoke out against marriage equality in North Carolina, citing the Bible as the basis of his opposition. President Barack Obama, a day later, cited the Bible in explaining his support for marriage equality. Prothero … [Read more...]

Slavery, seafood, sexuality and the Southern Bible

Do you see anything at all in that sheet about race, ethnicity, gender or sexuality? No, you do not. And that is why, despite what Peter says, his vision was only just God's way of telling him that it was OK to eat elephants, giraffes and snakes. Obviously.

I've written many times here about Peter's vision of the treyf smorgasbord in the book of Acts (most recently here, and earlier here). I love that story, which is why I've linked to those chapters from Acts, reprinted them here, and summarized them many times. It's a terrific story from the Christian Bible and I want everyone to read the whole thing. For some reason, that leads my conservative friends to accuse me of desperately wanting to hide this story and to prevent people from reading … [Read more...]

Al Mohler says the apostle Peter was wrong and that’s why evangelicals should ‘focus on homosexuality’

According to the New Testament book of Acts, the apostle Peter was given a vision from God. The 10th chapter of Acts describes that vision. And in that chapter and the next, Peter himself explains what that vision meant. Southern Baptist enforcer R. Albert Mohler Jr. says that Peter was wrong. The vision from God, Mohler says, meant something else. "The Bible condemns a lot, but here's why we focus on homosexuality," Mohler writes today for CNN's Belief Blog. Here's Mohler: “Look,” we … [Read more...]

The battle against the culture wars

Three smart people saying smart things about the "culture wars." John Aravosis: "Mr. Cantor, your culture war is my life" Brad Dayspring, the former spokesman for the number two Republican in the US House, Eric Cantor, had the following to say about President Obama's support for same-sex marriage: "With the economy in stagnation and crippling amounts of debt, the President seeks to further divide America by launching in a culture war." Your culture war is my life. And isn't that the … [Read more...]


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